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Bertschi bulk plastics hub at Antwerp port

Global logistics service provider Bertschi has officially opened its new plastics hub of more than 25,000 m2, as part of Antwerp Zomerweg Terminal (AZT).

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Various value-added logistics services are provided, such as handling, storage and distribution of imported bulk plastics from overseas. After Bertschi acquired the area in June 2017, it had to get the hub ready quickly, as the first containers started arriving at the beginning of this year.


The hub consists of a container storage area with a capacity of more than 20,000t of product, as well as two tilting platforms for the decanting of 20ft and 40ft sea bulk containers into 30ft European dry bulk containers. The plastic products are stored in these liner boxes on site.


For onward distribution, Bertschi offers its European wide intermodal transport network. “From the arrival of the plastics in Antwerp, over the decanting and storage to their final distribution within Europe, this new facility gives us the possibility to offer an all-in-one solution to our customers,” said Hans-Jörg Bertschi, CEO and Chairman of the Bertschi Group.

Tilting platforms at Bertschi's new plastics hub in Antwerp
Tilting platforms at Bertschi's new plastics hub in Antwerp

Product storage in 30ft box containers has various advantages compared to concepts of vertical silos, the company said. Whilst working with boxes, the container is used both as the cargo transport unit as well as the means of storage, whereas the use of vertical silos entails additional handlings, and, therefore, reduced product integrity.


The resulting lower number of handlings and the fact that cost is incurred only for bulk materials effectively stored in a container concept, reduces the total supply chain costs. At the same time, the concept reduces the carbon footprint by increasing intermodal deliveries.


When it comes to customer service, continued Bertschi, box containers are superior. Where vertical silos are fixed to their location, box containers allow product storage close to the customer, and, therefore, add flexibility to react on changing market needs.


“Bertschi was able to demonstrate the advantages of the container concept for our product flows and convinced us to implement this solution,” said Benny Mermans, general manager EMEA for Chevron Phillips Chemical Company. “We are very pleased to be the launch customer of the new plastics hub and the start-up of the project so far.”


AZT, which includes a rail terminal, is located right next to the existing Bertschi Antwerp facility in a central part of the Port of Antwerp. It is the ultimate goal of Bertschi to develop this 80,000 m2 site into a trimodal chemical logistics hub with sea and rail connection over the next years.


“We are happy to see Bertschi’s plans to further develop this strategic area in the Port of Antwerp,” said William Demoor, the Port of Antwerp’s director customer relations.

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